As Kristen Aleman neared the finish line Saturday, the Santa Maria sophomore couldn’t help but feel a little scared.
She could hear footsteps right behind her and with the finish line was just ahead, it was enough to help her dig deep and find an extra once of strength to push herself a little harder.
Aleman finished the race with a time of 12:11.43, good enough for a third-place finish and the bronze medal at the 2017 UIL Class 2A state cross country championships in Round Rock — nine seconds after first place Sydney Reynolds of Valley View (12:03) and two seconds behind second place Sidney Tucker of Seymour (12:09).
“I was actually pretty scared because I could feel a girl right behind my back,” said Aleman. “But I didn’t know for sure so I just gave it my all because if she would have passed me I wouldn’t have medaled in the top three.
“But I’m still in shock and I’ve been in shock since I crossed the finish line.”
CLASS 4A GIRLS: The La Feria Lionettes cross country team finished in 10th place at the UIL Class 4A state cross country meet. The Lionettes finished with a team score of 242.
DarianaVasquez led the way with a 10th-place finish in a time of 11:54. Miranda Torres finished in 81st (13:04), Analiza Rodriguez 92nd (13:20) and Marina Villanueva finished in 96th place (13:22).
“To have the opportunity to compete at the state meet is without a doubt a tremendous privilege, one for which the Lionettes and the coaching staff were very grateful,” said La Feria head coach Gracie Campos. “The course was long and tough, and the team ran its best.”
One 4A girls athlete that did finish in the top three was Progreso’s LizbettRivera. The freshman was able to finish the race with a time of 11:41, good enough for a third-place finish and a bronze medal.
CLASS 4A BOYS: TheProgreso boys cross country fared very well at the state championships. The Red Ants finished with a team score of 73 and took second place in the boys 4A division.
Senior Everardo Esparza led the way with an 8th-place finish with a time of 16:29. Omar Anguiano, meanwhile, finished 10th (16:32), GerardoGallardo 17th (16:49) and Anthony Vasquez finished 34th with a time of 17:09.